June 2003

Warning: this is an OLD newsletter. Time marches on; things change. Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect. (That means links, which are down at the bottom, may not work either. Unless it sends you to a porno site I won't fix it so don't tell me.) To get on the list to receive the next current newsletter, hit the BACK arrow on your browser and enter your e-mail address in the box on the previous page. You'll get the next issue. If you absolutely can't figure it out then e-mail me. It's free! What are you waiting for?

The Ami Simms Newsletter
Copyright June 2003

I'm so glad to be in your mailbox. Thank you for inviting me! If you're getting a forwarded edition of this newsletter, you can subscribe at to get your very own copy. It's totally FREE and worth every penny. And if you ARE getting your own copy already, please consider forwarding it to two or three hundred of your closest friends. You can even post a copy in the bathroom at your next guild meeting.

Sadly there IS an annoying advertisement at the top of every newsletter. I don't put them there. Yahoo does. That's the tradeoff for the "free" service they provide. I'd like to pay a fee for them NOT to put the advertisement into my newsletter, but they won't do that. I would pay to have my OWN products advertised in my own newsletter, but that's several thousand dollars a month, which would kind of defeat the "free" newsletter concept. So, until I can find another delivery system for the newsletter (suggestions welcome) just ignore whatever they're trying to sell you at the top of this thing.

As I mentioned in the Special Edition of the newsletter, Market was wonderful. So many people said such nice things about my Pizza Party line. I got to meet shop owners from across the country and it was a blast. By time I got home my head was so big I had trouble fitting through doorways. I'm already working on the NEXT fabric line that will debut in Houston this October.

Meanwhile, my Pizza Party fabric has arrived at the warehouse. It all came at once so there is much work to do unrolling it off the huge tubes and folding it onto bolts. Shops that ordered at Market should get their shipments in a few weeks. Me too! I can't wait. Our UPS driver will be almost as happy to see the fabric arrive as me. I happen to know he's a little tired of finding me at the end of the driveway waving my arms up and down, jumping and screaming, "Is it HERE yet?"

Mallery Press minions are waiting for the bolts to arrive, rotary cutters at the ready so we can ship out the "That's Amore" pizza quilt kits and other yardage you've ordered. We intend to set the land speed record for the number of yards served in one day!

If you'd like to get a jump on the pattern, you can download the free "That's Amore" pattern. The link is way down at the bottom of the page at:

When Sue G. checked out my home page after I put up the picture of "That's Amore," she offered these alternative lyrics to the song: "When an eel reaches out, and he bites off your snout, that's a moray." Cute, Sue!

During the short times I left the Troy booth to see the other booths at Quilt Market, I did some pretty intense power shopping and came home with bunches of new quilt patterns I think you'll enjoy. See them all at the pattern page or visit them individually:

Male Bonding
Senior Delinquent
The Mouse Quilt
Boxer Mania
Mike's Ties & Mr. Cool
Mandy Bunny

I got a lot of e-mail in response to the picture of the RFM pictured at from last month's newsletter. Silly me. I had NO idea there even WAS such a thing. I thought perhaps it was just a poor translation for something else in that box that just didn't make it to English from Japanese or something! I was even more shocked to learn that several of my loyal readers (requesting anonymity, of course) claimed to OWN such a machine. And USE it! Some even volunteered to let me BORROW their machines. (No thanks, I'll pass!) I also learned there's a website AND a newsletter devoted to such practical jokes. And here I thought you were such a high-class bunch!

Donna M. shared two photos this month. One is of a restaurant serving typical Alaskan cuisine:

And the other is of a very effective road sign:

Shelly Bachner shares two interesting photos as well. See for encouragement in an unusual place,


Take a peek at the Flint Journal online at: Even if the link works, you won't see a picture of my DH and his students (all wearing hockey jerseys) but you can read the almost accurate article about him. I'm so proud!

June will be devoted to finishing some more pizza quilts and designing yet another fabric line. July, however, will be a travel marathon!

July 7-8, 2003
Ohio Valley Quilters Guild
Cincinnati, OH
Contact: jcable@cinci.rr.com

July 15-16, 2003
Bear Creek Quilt Guild
Keller, TX
Contact: The2Bums@charter.net

July 17-18, 2003
Trinity Valley Quilt Guild
Ft. Worth, TX
Contact: SaritaX@aol.com

July 18, 2003
Common Threads Quilt Guild
Gainesville, TX
Contact: LCSnoden@aol.com

July 19, 2003
Rally Day-Texas Association of Quilt Guilds
Dallas, TX
Contact: utgagequilter@earthlink.net

I always bring copies of my books, patterns, and other goodies when I teach. Since I never seem to guess the right amount to bring, sometimes I run out. I also have to leave lots of things at home and I'm not set up to do credit card transactions on the road either. So, I thought I'd try something different this time.

If you'll be attending either my lecture with the Ohio Valley Quilters on July 7th or my lecture with the Bear Creek Quilters on July 15th you can save 10% and get free shipping. Ohio Valley folks need to place their order online at www.AmiSimms.com before July 1 and type OHIOVALLEY in the Coupon Code area when they checkout. Bear Creek Quilters have until July 5th to order and their Coupon Code is BEARCREEK. (Not too creative, but do note the lack of spaces between the two words.)

10% will automatically be taken off your entire order and I will personally remove the shipping charges when I retrieve your order off-line. (The program won't do that part!) You can order on-line or by phone at 1-800-278-4824 any time up until July 1 or 5th respectively. Email me if you have any questions: AmiSimms@aol.com

Guess where one of my quilts is? Come on, GUESS! Give up? Dakar, Senegal! (Don't worry; I had to look on a map too! Head over to Africa and find the western most bump. Dakar is on the coast.) I've just loaned my "Buttons & Bows" quilt (Picture Play Quilts, page 31) to the Art In Embassies program, part of the US State Department. It will be exhibited in the home of the US Ambassador! Pretty cool, huh? Would you like to loan one of your quilts? Visit for more details.

Sue Alessi and her sister Kathy Lupia taught my Twisted Sisters pattern in a workshop at the Calico Gals Quilt Shop near Syracuse, NY a few months ago. You've got to read about what they did. Amazing! Then, if you're in the area, email Sue (alessi4@hotmail.com) or the shop (calicogals@msn.com) to sign up for the next Twisted Sisters workshop on June 28th. See

It was proven long ago that a happy quilter has a husband who spends more on his hobby than she does on hers. Talk to any wife whose husband has a boat, plays a lot of golf, or collects antique cars. Set for life. No such luck for me. My husband doesn't collect anything and he's extremely frugal. Case in point: he bought a riding lawnmower a few years ago. It came with some kind of warranty that included a significant discount on replacement parts after the original warranty expired. So, as the "replacement parts" warranty period approached its end, Steve went shopping. He came back from the store with assorted belts, hoses, spark plugs, blades, and "clampy" things. He explained that as long as he was accurate in predicting what would break or wear out before the life of the mower ended, this was A GOOD DEAL.

Finally, my world is now complete. We may have enough spare parts to build several lawn mowers, but I see it as a parallel universe here for my fabric purchases. After all, when I go shopping for fabric, I'm operating on a similar theory. I buy yardage on spec. I buy what I THINK I'll use. OK, so I'm not as psychically attuned as Steve is, in fact I'm practically clueless, but he doesn't have to know this. It's not like he can tell a fat quarter of floral from a half yard of geometric. Truth be told, I rarely have a plan and I just buy what I like. There, I said it. BUT, I'm not saying it where there's a chance Steve will hear me. I'll just tell him what a wise man he is and tell him I am just as wise. Think he'll buy it? (Maybe not, but I will!)

We've got a great "show & tell" this month. Pull up a chair and have a look at:

Janet Tucker's photo quilt. She was able to get some amazing reaction photos of the quilt recipient

Pat's photo-quilt:

Barbara Sales' photo quilt:

Joyce Newton's photo-memory quilts at and

Rhonda Palmer Sinking Sailboat quilt (with something added):

Cheryl McLaugh's Picture Play Quilt:

Lisa D's shares her stash:

and Betty Hauck was inspired by a very cool floor:

Have you visited the Fabrics Network? It's a great place to go if you have questions about fabric, the history of fabric, and more sewing related stuff than you can imagine! It boggles the mind! Check it out at

You will recall that I don't cook. Haven't for several years now. A big splurge in the "out-to-dinner" category for my family, therefore (as opposed to dialing for dinner or re-heating leftovers from the last "out-to-dinner" delight) is a trip to BD's Mongolian Barbeque. There are several, all really too far away from home to make it a regular stop. Last night, however, we found ourselves in the right neighborhood and that was dinner.

Now, if you're unfamiliar with this particular restaurant (it's a chain, but there aren't a lot of them) first you grab a bowl and put a bunch of raw meat in it. Then you pile on the veggies, add oil, various sauces, and spices. Then you walk it over to a giant grill manned by rowdy teenage boys. They're looking for tips by chopping and flinging (and even cooking) your main course with long sticks as you watch from a relatively safe distance. They slap their sticks and the food flips. Morsels of your meal-to-be dance across the grill into other patron's pile's of dancing food, also on the same griddle, tossed by the same set of sticks. (They can fit about 12 meals on the giant grill at once.) Sometimes flying food winds up in the center abyss where I always expect to see huge flames leap out, but never do. Or, sometimes the food just winds up on the floor. Nobody seems to care. Presumably, as the name implies, this is how Genghis Khan would have eaten were he into conquering suburban strip malls.

The show is wonderful, but you pay a lot of money for food you essentially assemble yourself, then stand around and wait for it to cook. You also have to haul it back to the table yourself in order to eat it. During the 20 minutes you were away, your "server" has brought your drink. Since water is served in a 64-ounce glass that almost requires a wheelbarrow to transport from the kitchen, you therefore you feel obliged to tip the "server" too. (I believe tips go into a Hernia Fund.)

But I digress. Back to the grill. While your dinner is co-mingling with other people's selection of sauce and spice, there is ample time to wonder if the combination you've selected (there can be thousands of permutations, I'm sure) will taste any good. I need not wonder. It never does. I either go too bland, or hideously over-spiced. Unable to remember the awful combination of oils and toppings from any previous dining experiences at BD's, I am forever doomed to repeat my original, dismal concoction each and every time I visit. My second bowl is usually an improvement, but by then I'm too full to enjoy it. Miraculously, this last visit actually produced something I would like to eat again. Which is a really LONG introduction for my really short recipe should you ever visit a Mongolian Barbeque. Here it is:

To whatever meat and vegetables you have assembled in your bowl, add one half ladle of garlic oil. Capture as much of the garlic floating in the oil as you can without looking suspect. The oil itself doesn't add much flavor; you'll want the garlic. Your husband won't, but you will, trust me. To that add a full ladle of Sweet and Sour, a full ladle of BD's Honey Hoisin, and a half ladle of Kona Barbeque. Add at least 6 pieces of pineapple that they now hide over at the salad bar. It's actually pretty good!

Thank you to the following quilters who sent a block, a buck, or both: Elizabeth Zapp, Pam Garcia, Kathleen Hovendick, Ann Stevenson, Iris Johnson, and Carol Mitchell. Want to get on this list? Just request the "almost free" Puppus Doggus pattern and your name will wind up here too. It's a great way to see if you're up to the challenge of my BOM. Read on, McDuff...

Those of you who have purchased the entire series of the Dog-Yeared Mystery Block Of The Month Mystery Calendar quilt should already have received their June block via e-mail. Snail mailers should get theirs within a few days. If you'd like to join in the fun, we're still going strong. Visit to sign up.

I just put up a new prize at . The first name drawn will win a copy of This Old Quilt, a heartwarming celebration of quilts and quilting memories, edited by Margret Aldrich. It's 160 pages of dazzling color quilts, vintage photographs, and assorted musings on things "quilty." (You might even recognize one of the contributors!) The second and third entrants selected will each receive copies of Helen Kelley's new book, Every Quilt Tells A Story. Billed as a quilter's stash of wit and wisdom it is that and much more. If you're a faithful reader Helen's column in QNM every month, as I am, then you'll love this book.

Good luck!

Did you win the May prize? I'm not telling. You'll have to go and take a look for yourself.

There are SIX quilts on the auction block right now for your bidding pleasure. Look for #64 (Carla's Cozy), #65 (Look At All The Animals!), #66 (Animals Everywhere), #67 (Crazy Animals), #68 (Safari Meanderings), and #69 (Two Chickens Chatting). They may have different names on eBay. Please bid generously. All proceeds will go to Leader Dogs For The Blind or Paws With A Cause. Get to the auctions from my home page:

Become a Quilt Angel. Grab a hankie and head over to where you can join other quilters sharing their love with critically and/or terminally ill children...one quilt block at a time.

I guess I'm a skeptic; a non-believer. I watch most commercials and mumble, "yeah, right." I mean, I'd LIKE to believe all the claims I hear on TV, but I really need convincing. Take, for example, the goop you paint on your teeth to make them whiter. Put it on at night (you don't even have to wait for it to dry, they say) and just a few weeks later, your teeth are so bright your smile makes people reach for their sunglasses. I'd love to try it. (I mean who really thinks their teeth are white enough?) But before I do, I want one of those gorgeous models to test it. I mean REALLY test it: by painting it on every OTHER tooth. If, her smile in the "after" shot looks like a checkerboard, sign me up.

Keep your needles threaded and remember to put a knot in one end. (Of the thread!)

Have a great quilting day and pass it on!

Subscribe To This Newsletter
FREE That's Amore Pattern
Pattern Page
Male Bonding
The Mouse Quilt
Boxer Mania
Mike's Ties & Mr. Cool
Mandy Bunny
Alaskan Cuisine
Effective Road Sign
Another Strange Road Sign
The "other" Simms
Art In Embassies Program
Twisted Sisters Workshop
Janet Tucker's Photo- Quilt
Pat's Photo-Quilt
Barb Sales' Photo-Quilt
Joyce Newton's photo-memory quilt
And another...
Rhonda Palmer's Sinking Sailboat Variation
Cheryl McLaughlin's Picture Play Quilt
Lisa D's stash
Betty Hauck's Cool Inspiration
Almost Free Puppus Doggus Pattern
Dog-Yeared Mystery BOM Calendar Quilt
Win Cool Stuff
Bid on Auction Quilts For Charity
Quilt Angels